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Bone density treatment can delay leukemia progression in kids

IANS  |  Sydney 

Targeting a loss mechanism that occurs during the development of may hold the key to reducing the progression of the in children, researchers have found.

is a of blood-forming tissues, hindering the body's ability to fight

The study focused on the most common form of the in children, a subtype of acute lymphoblastic and witnessed substantial loss during its development, reported.

The pre-clinical findings from identifying the mechanism were promising and suggested that targeting the microenvironment around leukemia cells could not only help fight the cancer, but "simultaneously provide relief for one of its most common and painful side-effects, loss", said Laurence Cheung, a from the Telethon Kids Centre, West in

In the study, published in the journal Leukemia, the team identified a signal produced by the leukemia cells which instructed cells in the microenvironment to eat away at the bone.

The researchers then used a commercially available drug to target the cells in the microenvironment around the leukemia cells.

"Importantly, we found that this not only compensated for the leukemia-dependent bone fragility, but also reduced leukemia progression," Cheung said.

"To date, the main strategy for in children has focused on targeting malignant cells with chemotherapy, which is toxic for the leukemia cells but also toxic for the patient.

"Our finding that the cells surrounding the leukemia cells can contribute to treatment failure or success has led to a paradigm shift.

"It means this potentially could be a powerful It's not going to replace chemotherapy, but we propose that using and treating the microenvironment at the same time will have more benefit than just the by itself," Cheung said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 13 2018. 15:08 IST